Title of paper

The Relevance of the Philosophy of Ethiopianism to Present Day Ethiopia

Presenter's country

South Africa

Start Date

27-5-2016 9:00 AM

End Date

27-5-2016 10:00 AM

Submission type

Keynote

Abstract

Ethiopianism promoted African for Africans, Africans for humanity and humanity for God. The slaves that were denied both their humanity and their right to worship God as humans found solace and comfort by looking at Ethiopia to have and express with confidence and self-worth their right to be human and worship and open access to God. Both in America in 1829 and in Southern Africa in 1896, two Ethiopian Manifesto's expressing these rights to be African, human and the right to worship God were created. No nation in this planet except Ethiopia had this distinction, grace, opportunity and recognition. We ask now how much do current day Ethiopians know that Ethiopia has this special spiritual quality bestowed upon it in this planet. Are those who have not come across to know this extraordinary recognition of Ethiopia as a spiritual fountain head for liberation of Africans in particular and all the oppressed in the world in general now ready, open and willing to learn and even more apply this powerful fore bearer of Pan-Africanism to solve all the current problems Ethiopia faces by adding spiritual value and strength to deal worth all the unending and lingering material difficulties such as poverty, inequality, unemployment, corruption, failure in leadership, governance, systems , institutions , services and values of care and share to move Ethiopia on a forwards and onwards confident and independent journey. The keynote will focus on Ethiopianism as a spiritual fountainhead to unite all Ethiopians to make sure they all acknowledge, appreciate and unite that the Ethiopia they have today has had global appreciation as a great treasure for all humanity that have gone through difficult times. Hurting Ethiopia today is tantamount to nothing else than to undermine this spiritual legacy that Ethiopia gave to the world. The early signs of Ethiopianism date back to the 16th century, when slaves in America found solace in the promise of a homeland in the empire of Ethiopia in the Nile region. The references to Ethiopia in the Bible ("Ethiopia" occurs more than forty times) provided them with an ideology that they could use for their spiritual, political, and cultural uplifting. By far "probably the most widely quoted verse in Afro-American religious history"--is Psalm 68:31: "Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall stretch her hands unto God". The verse was interpreted as pointing to the end of the "curse" on the black race--an end to the alienation of Africans as humans from God. This was a European belief that was, to some extent, shared by Africans. Thus came into being the movement of Ethiopianism as a "method of winning Africa for Christ and God", and as a forerunner of the "Africa for Africans" , "Äfricans for humanity" and "humanity for God" movement and the subsequent African philosophies to develop African unity to confront imperialist power. The verse gave rise to what scholars have termed "a biblically-rooted pan-African hermeneutic" that later became a widely used source of inspiration and legitimization to inspire Africans to continue the struggle against colonial domination. Some saw the beginning of the fulfilment of this prophetic verse on the political level. For example, after the 1792-1800 successful slave insurrection in Haiti, it was declared: "Thus doth Ethiopia begin to stretch forth her hand, from the sink of slavery, to freedom and equality" (Dread History, undated). In both America and Southern Africa, the Ethiopianism movement was firstly a reaction to the discrimination in ecclesiastical administration and the outright marginalization of black clergymen for no other reason than the color of their skin. It was an unwritten law by white missionary churches not to ordain black clergy. The fact this discrimination took place in locations as far apart as America and South Africa over a long period of time is proof that it was more a systemic practice than a symptom of sporadic racism. The keynote will address the relevance of the Ethiopianism movement, philosophy and the 1829 and 1896 two manifesto's to current day Ethiopia. Ethiopianism was also reinforced by the decisive African Victory over world empire, as Raymond Jonas rightly put it. The fact that the 1896 Ethiopia Manifesto originated during the time of the battle of Adwa makes also this great victory part and parcel of the Ethiopianism movement. As we celebrate the 120 years of Adwa Victory, we should all work to make sure that Adwa will be recognized finally not just as a place of an ant-colonial successful battle, but more importantly also as a historical heritage site to spread vast pan-African education across the entire Africana world for years to come now and the future.

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May 27th, 9:00 AM May 27th, 10:00 AM

The Relevance of the Philosophy of Ethiopianism to Present Day Ethiopia

Ethiopianism promoted African for Africans, Africans for humanity and humanity for God. The slaves that were denied both their humanity and their right to worship God as humans found solace and comfort by looking at Ethiopia to have and express with confidence and self-worth their right to be human and worship and open access to God. Both in America in 1829 and in Southern Africa in 1896, two Ethiopian Manifesto's expressing these rights to be African, human and the right to worship God were created. No nation in this planet except Ethiopia had this distinction, grace, opportunity and recognition. We ask now how much do current day Ethiopians know that Ethiopia has this special spiritual quality bestowed upon it in this planet. Are those who have not come across to know this extraordinary recognition of Ethiopia as a spiritual fountain head for liberation of Africans in particular and all the oppressed in the world in general now ready, open and willing to learn and even more apply this powerful fore bearer of Pan-Africanism to solve all the current problems Ethiopia faces by adding spiritual value and strength to deal worth all the unending and lingering material difficulties such as poverty, inequality, unemployment, corruption, failure in leadership, governance, systems , institutions , services and values of care and share to move Ethiopia on a forwards and onwards confident and independent journey. The keynote will focus on Ethiopianism as a spiritual fountainhead to unite all Ethiopians to make sure they all acknowledge, appreciate and unite that the Ethiopia they have today has had global appreciation as a great treasure for all humanity that have gone through difficult times. Hurting Ethiopia today is tantamount to nothing else than to undermine this spiritual legacy that Ethiopia gave to the world. The early signs of Ethiopianism date back to the 16th century, when slaves in America found solace in the promise of a homeland in the empire of Ethiopia in the Nile region. The references to Ethiopia in the Bible ("Ethiopia" occurs more than forty times) provided them with an ideology that they could use for their spiritual, political, and cultural uplifting. By far "probably the most widely quoted verse in Afro-American religious history"--is Psalm 68:31: "Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall stretch her hands unto God". The verse was interpreted as pointing to the end of the "curse" on the black race--an end to the alienation of Africans as humans from God. This was a European belief that was, to some extent, shared by Africans. Thus came into being the movement of Ethiopianism as a "method of winning Africa for Christ and God", and as a forerunner of the "Africa for Africans" , "Äfricans for humanity" and "humanity for God" movement and the subsequent African philosophies to develop African unity to confront imperialist power. The verse gave rise to what scholars have termed "a biblically-rooted pan-African hermeneutic" that later became a widely used source of inspiration and legitimization to inspire Africans to continue the struggle against colonial domination. Some saw the beginning of the fulfilment of this prophetic verse on the political level. For example, after the 1792-1800 successful slave insurrection in Haiti, it was declared: "Thus doth Ethiopia begin to stretch forth her hand, from the sink of slavery, to freedom and equality" (Dread History, undated). In both America and Southern Africa, the Ethiopianism movement was firstly a reaction to the discrimination in ecclesiastical administration and the outright marginalization of black clergymen for no other reason than the color of their skin. It was an unwritten law by white missionary churches not to ordain black clergy. The fact this discrimination took place in locations as far apart as America and South Africa over a long period of time is proof that it was more a systemic practice than a symptom of sporadic racism. The keynote will address the relevance of the Ethiopianism movement, philosophy and the 1829 and 1896 two manifesto's to current day Ethiopia. Ethiopianism was also reinforced by the decisive African Victory over world empire, as Raymond Jonas rightly put it. The fact that the 1896 Ethiopia Manifesto originated during the time of the battle of Adwa makes also this great victory part and parcel of the Ethiopianism movement. As we celebrate the 120 years of Adwa Victory, we should all work to make sure that Adwa will be recognized finally not just as a place of an ant-colonial successful battle, but more importantly also as a historical heritage site to spread vast pan-African education across the entire Africana world for years to come now and the future.